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Simon Cowell quitting 'American Idol' in 2010

WENN, Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 5:31pm (PST)

Simon Cowell will leave "American Idol" in 2010, according to his brother.

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The music mogul has become a TV sensation in the U.S. since taking his seat on the judging panel in 2002, and he's since become the richest man on TV in the States, earning a massive $75 million in the last year.

As well as his panelist duties on the hit series, he also leads the judges on British talent show "The X Factor" -- which he is in negotiations to bring stateside in 2011.

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And according to Tony Cowell, the British star is so keen on making that program a success, he's preparing to retire from "American Idol."

He says, "A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave 'Idol' at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011."

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The news comes just months after judge Paula Abdul quit the show over an alleged pay dispute in August. She has been replaced by chat show host Ellen DeGeneres for the 2010 cycle.

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